The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
There’s a proven linkbetween lack of sleep and negative emotion, but is catching 40 winks whilst atwork a proven solution?
Research via the National Sleep Foundation(NSF) suggests that lack of sleep can have a negative impact on emotion. Couldnaps of 20-30 minutes make for a more productive workforce, and have a positiveimpact on mood, concentration and attention?
Following the findings that loss of sleep could be costing theUK £40bn a year, is it time to make a change to our sleeping habits? To findout, we investigated eight sleeping customs from around the world, and exploredhow they could have a positive impact on your business.
China – Bring yourbedroom to work
In factories and offices across China, thelines between bedroom and workspace are becoming increasingly blurred. Due tolonger working hours, many employers now advocate a short nap after lunchtimeto increase concentration. Certain offices have even installed temporary or permanentsleeping and washing facilities in their office spaces to encourage employeesto stay round the clock.
Taking a nap at work could well beperceived as a sign of laziness or a poor attitude, but not in Japan. Thehectic lifestyle of Japan’s city dwellers has led to the wide-scale uptake of“inemuri”, or “sleeping whilst present”. Thanks to inemuri, Japanese workerscan nap on public transport, at their desk or even during meetings – and it’scommonly seen as a sign of hard work.
Spain – Siesta
Originating in Spain and parts of LatinAmerica, the siesta is perhaps one of the most well-known daytime snoozingtraditions across the globe. This practice might be under threat, however, withnew business laws introduced in 2016 limiting how late employees can work, andeffectively reducing the time they have to squeeze in an afternoon nap.
Italy – Riposo
Where the Spanish have a siesta, the Italianshave “riposo”. Commonly taking place after lunch, riposo can last anywhere from2-4 hours. Frustratingly for tourists, this means that many attractions areclosed throughout the day. Unfortunately, the non-stop pace of modern industrymeans that fewer and fewer office workers are able to benefit from a middaysnooze.
Norway – Nappingoutside
Take a stroll through Oslo, Helsinki or anotherNordic town, and you might well see some infants taking a nap in temperaturesas low as -5 degrees Celsius. Don’t worry – they haven’t been abandoned;sleeping outdoors in the daytime is actually believed to be very good for theirhealth. Could local office workers take some inspiration to increase theirproductivity?
Indonesia – Fearsleep
Stresses of work getting you down? Theominously named ‘fear sleep’ might be the solution. Locally referred to as “todoetpoeles” – the practice of fear sleep enables people to nod off instantly toavoid feelings of excessive anxiety and stress. Nodding off when your bosswalks in might not be the best solution, but regular naps could well help avoidwork-related worry.
Botswana –Sleeping on your own schedule
You should sleep when it’s dark, correct? Notquite. At least, not in Botswana. The country’s native Kung hunter-gatherertribe are well known for sleeping only when tired, regardless of the time ofday. With an increased uptake of flexi-time, rise in self-chosen hours andgrowth of contract-based work, could businesses be embracing the way of theKung sooner than we think?
USA – Silicon Valley sleepers
Though it’s not a national custom just yet,sleeping on the job is widely being embraced by some of the USA’s biggestemployers. Technology and software companies are leading the nappingrevolution, with firms like Google going so far as to have purpose-builtsleeping pods installed in their offices to help employees rest and refresh.
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